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Linking Kotler’s Marketing 3.0, Flawsome Brands and Social Media: Open Business

After writing the previous article about the chemical industry’s challenge to divert a misconcepted perception by the public, I want to outline more concretely the link between Kotler’s Marketing 3.0, flawsome brands and social media, namely Open Business, our vision for organizations.

Kotler’s Marketing 3.0

Kotler wrote many interesting things in his book Marketing 3.0. Two of them I want to outline in the context of this article.

First of all the future marketing concepts. Within product management we will shift from the 4 P’s to co-creation. Within customer management we will shift from Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning (STP process) to Communitization and within brand management there will be a shift from brand building to character building.

Secondly, Kotler’s horizontalism says that people put more trust into each other than brands (vertical relationship).

Both points relate to opening up organizational processes to new stakeholders and the humanization of the brand. This brings us to the flawsome brands.


Trendwatching introduced a new term to indicate new kind of brands, flawsome brands. The definition by Trendwatching is:

“Consumers don’t expect brands to be flawless. In fact, consumers will embrace brands that are FLAWSOME: brands that are still brilliant despite having flaws; even being flawed (and being open about it) can be awesome. Brands that show some empathy, generosity, humility, flexibility, maturity, humor, and (dare we say it) some character and humanity.”

Two key drivers that are fueling the FLAWSOME trend:

HUMAN BRANDS: Everything from disgust at business to the influence of online culture (with its honesty and immediacy), is driving consumers away from bland, boring brands in favor of brands with some personality.

TRANSPARENCY TRIUMPH: Consumers are benefiting from almost total and utter transparency (and thus are finding out about flaws anyway), as a result of the torrent of readily available reviews, leaks and ratings.“

Read this page on Trendwatching if you want to read up additional information on the the key drivers mentioned above.

Humanization of the brand is key as well in the flawsome trend by brands with personality. Transparency offered by the digital world are forcing brands to open up, bringing us to social media.

Social media

Online culture is disillusioned with corporate behavior. Consumers are looking for brands that conduct business in a more open, human way. Given the speed of social media, mistakes are bound to happen and transparency makes sure that consumers will found out anyway.

In the past five years, social media websites have become ubiquitous, giving people a new way to interact with each other and communicate with the world.

Our vision for organizations: Open Business

Open Business operationalizes the mentioned future marketing concepts and by opening up the organization internally and externally by means of social media, the organization becomes more transparent, human, willingly or not.

We think of social media as business performance accelerators – not just new channels to deliver messages through.

It are powerful media to listen, engage and co-create with people inside and outside the organization – employees, business partners, customers, shareholders and experts.

This drives sharing, transparency and accountability with employees and business partners.

When deployed effectively, it helps improve customer loyalty and trust from other stakeholders.

It can be the next source of competitive advantage in client service, marketing and product innovation.

The organization markets with the people for whom the products and services are intended – rather than at them.

Be a more ethical, sustainable and likeable business with much better results. Be an Open Business.